"Project Gunrunner" (A.K.A Fast and Furious) was a project of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fireworks where basically some "geniuses" high up in ATF (and possibly the DOJ) thought it would be a great idea to sell assault weapons to the violent Mexican drug cartels. Yes, that's right, the US government decided--in order to fight the Mexican Drug Cartels, we should arm them and let them keep their weapons once they were used in committing crimes .
Those assault weapons ceded to the drug cartels have been used for crimes in Mexico, used to kill a Border Agent named Brian Terry, turned up at the scenes of violent crimes in Phoenix, and now 11 other violent crimes across the country.
According to the LA Times, the Justice Department has admitted Congress that weapons sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious have been turned up at the scenes of at least eleven violent crimes in Arizona and Texas.
The department did not provide details about the crimes. But The Times has learned that they occurred in several Arizona cities, including Phoenix, where Fast and Furious was managed, as well as in El Paso, where a total of 42 weapons from the operation were seized at two crime scenes.
... a source close to the controversy, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation, said that as early as January 2010, just after the operation began, weapons had turned up at crime scenes in Phoenix, Nogales, Douglas and Glendale in Arizona, and in El Paso. The largest haul was 40 weapons at one crime scene in El Paso.
In all, 57 of the operation's weapons were recovered at those six crime scenes, in addition to the two seized where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed.
Since no details released, it is not known wheter the Phoenix crimes were the same as those uncovered by a TV Station in the Phoenix market.
The new numbers, which expand the scope of the danger the program posed to U.S. citizens over a 14-month period, are contained in a letter that Justice Department officials turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.
In the letter, obtained by The Times on Tuesday, Justice Department officials also reported that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials advised them that the agency's acting director, Kenneth E. Melson, "likely became aware" of the operation as early as December 2009, a month after it began.
Melson has said he didn't find out about the program until January 2011. His testimony was given on July 4th over the objections of the Justice Department. Since his testimony there has been great concern the DOJ would try and make Melson the Fast and Furious scapegoat, the Dec. 2009 date above may be the start of the DOJ scapegoating attempt.
Senior Justice Department officials have insisted they did not know about the "operational tactics" of the program, and the Weich letter reemphasized that point. Weich noted that the officials were cooperating with investigations by Congress and the Justice Department inspector general's office, which reflects "our commitment to learning the facts underlying this matter."Not mentioned by the DOJ is that at least one White House official knew about the operation.
In a related story we have learned that three of the AFT Supervisors responsible for planning and managing this idiotic operation were promoted last week. They are William G. McMahon, who was the ATF's deputy director of operations in the West, where the illegal trafficking program was focused, and William D. Newell and David Voth, both field supervisors who oversaw the program out of the agency's Phoenix office.